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c-rash-ed out Surgery to keep Rashford sidelined for start of Manchester United's season


England and Manchester United's Marcus Rashford. Credit: Reuters

England and Manchester United's Marcus Rashford. Credit: Reuters

England and Manchester United's Marcus Rashford. Credit: Reuters

Manchester United’s preparations for the new Premier League season have been dealt a severe blow with Marcus Rashford facing up to 12 weeks out after deciding to push ahead with surgery on a long-standing shoulder problem.

The England forward underwent scans yesterday on the muscle tear in his left shoulder, that he has been managing since last November, and could now miss the first two months of the new season.

Although an operation is not considered a necessity at this stage, because the tear is not expected to worsen, Rashford is concerned that the problem has not got better and that his movement will continue to be inhibited unless he has surgery.

The pain-killing injections that Rashford has been getting are also not considered a long-term solution.

It is understood that it would be Rashford’s strong preference to have the surgery immediately but that it is unlikely to happen until the end of the month.

It is expected that it would be around six weeks before Rashford could resume training and that the 23-year-old could be facing up to 12 weeks on the sidelines – a setback for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as he bids to end United’s eight-year title drought.

Rashford could miss United’s first eight league games, including their season opener against Leeds United at Old Trafford on Aug. 14, and their first three Champions League group stage matches, in addition to England’s five World Cup qualifiers in September and October.

It has been a traumatic 72 hours for Rashford after he was subjected to racist abuse following his penalty miss in England’s shoot-out defeat to Italy, while a mural in his honour in Manchester was defaced.

However, the player has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support from so many. Kylian Mbappe, Lewis Hamilton and David Beckham are among those who sent him personal messages of support.

It is believed that Rashford, due to go on holiday for a fortnight, feels an operation will be in his and United and England’s best long-term interests.

Rashford – who scored 21 goals and claimed 15 assists for United – had a difficult end to last season, complicated by an ankle injury.

Nonetheless, Rashford felt in good enough condition to join up with England at the Euros, although he ended up playing the fewest minutes (84) of the 21 England players who featured, bar Jude Bellingham and Dominic Calvert-Lewin. (© Telegraph Media Group Limited, 2021)

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Telegraph Media Group Limited [2021]